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No time to dwell on cup exit as Wick Academy prepare for midweek visit by Clach


By Alan Hendry

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Wick Academy keeper Graeme Williamson tips the ball around the post during the Highland League Cup tie against Nairn. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick Academy keeper Graeme Williamson tips the ball around the post during the Highland League Cup tie against Nairn. Picture: Mel Roger

Gary Manson's new-look Wick Academy squad will be targeting their first win of the 2023/24 Highland League campaign when Clachnacuddin visit Harmsworth Park on Wednesday night.

The Scorries have picked up one point from their opening two league games and were knocked out of the Highland League Cup at the preliminary round stage when they lost 1-0 at home to Nairn County on Saturday.

The tie was settled by an 11th-minute strike from County's veteran forward Conor Gethins.

Manson said: "There was nothing in the game, it was fifty-fifty. They took one of their chances.

"We had a few half-chances and never took them so it's one of those things we'll need to keep working on – creating chances and taking them.

Wick Academy's Ross Gunn and Nairn County's Wayne Mackintosh. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick Academy's Ross Gunn and Nairn County's Wayne Mackintosh. Picture: Mel Roger

"They had the better of the first half, we had the better of the second half.

"It's disappointing. You don't want to go out of the cup this early and that's ultimately what has happened.

"There's no time to dwell on it – it's just straight back into action on Wednesday night, and the sooner we get a win under our belts this season the better.

"That's three games gone now, one draw to show for it, which is not what we're looking for. There's a chance on Wednesday night to go and get three points on the board and a home win, which is something we'll be trying to do.

"There's a couple of knocks and a couple of niggles so we'll see how they clear up. It's quite a quick turnaround for Wednesday so we'll see who we've got."

Wick Academy's Ryan Campbell and Nairn County's Sam Gordon go for a high ball. Picture: Mel Roger
Wick Academy's Ryan Campbell and Nairn County's Sam Gordon go for a high ball. Picture: Mel Roger

Clach's first three league fixtures have brought two draws and one defeat. Last season Academy completed a league double over the Lilywhites, winning 1-0 at home and 3-1 in Inverness, although Clach won 3-0 when the teams met in the North of Scotland Cup.

Manson said: "Where we are at the moment, every game is going to be difficult. There are no easy games in this league any more, so we're taking absolutely nothing for granted, but we'll certainly be going for a win."

James Mackay of Wick Academy turns Nairn County's Sam Gordon. Picture: Mel Roger
James Mackay of Wick Academy turns Nairn County's Sam Gordon. Picture: Mel Roger

Results – Highland League Cup, preliminary round: Huntly 1, Inverurie Locos 2; Wick Academy 0, Nairn County 1.

Highland League: Brechin City 2, Brora Rangers 1; Clachnacuddin 2, Deveronvale 2; Fraserburgh 1, Buckie Thistle 3; Lossiemouth 1, Formartine United 2; Rothes 2, Banks O' Dee 2; Turriff United 1, Keith 2.

Highland League fixtures – Wednesday, August 16: Brora Rangers v Strathspey Thistle; Buckie Thistle v Forres Mechanics; Deveronvale v Turriff United; Huntly v Lossiemouth; Inverurie Locos v Formartine United; Nairn County v Rothes; Wick Academy v Clachnacuddin (all 8pm).

Saturday, August 19: Brechin City v Nairn County; Formartine United v Buckie Thistle; Forres Mechanics v Keith; Fraserburgh v Deveronvale; Inverurie Locos v Huntly; Lossiemouth v Brora Rangers; Rothes v Wick Academy; Strathspey Thistle v Banks O' Dee; Turriff United v Clachnacuddin (all 3pm).


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